NAACP head: Stop federal aid to fight police brutality
August 24, 1997
Web posted at: 9:59 p.m. EDT (0159 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- NAACP President Kweisi Mfume says not
enough is being done to combat police brutality across the
And in a Sunday interview on CNN's "Late Edition with Frank
Sesno," Mfume singled out New York City's police department,
which has been rocked in recent weeks by brutality charges
stemming from an attack in which a Haitian suspect was
allegedly sodomized with a toilet plunger.
"We've got to be just as vigilant at rooting out brutal,
inhumane acts [of police brutality] as we are concerned about
arresting a 15-year-old kid who may be washing windows at an
intersection," Mfume said.
That comment was a reference to New York Mayor Rudy
Giuliani's tough policy of "zero tolerance" on aggressive
panhandling and other petty offenses.
Mfume offered one possible way to curb police brutality, a
solution he wants the Clinton administration to act on:
"We need to start to send a clear message that we will
withhold federal dollars to police departments around the
country where there is an incidence of these cases taking
place, or where there are major unresolved cases," he said.
"If we don't have some kind of a big stick to hold over the
heads of police departments, they're going to continue to
allow [police brutality] to take place."